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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > SWS-8, midbass response and tuning



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      02-14-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
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Question SWS-8, midbass response and tuning

I'm thinking of replacing the Logic7 midbass drivers in my E92 with a pair of SWS-8xi drivers. To be fair, I feel as if I don't really need more bass from the car but it would be nice to get a little more sub-bass extension that the Earthquakes should provide. I'm also trying to avoid the need to add a sealed enclosure in the trunk and the added expense of a dedicated sub amp.

To add complication, I'm starting from a base audio car. I threw in the Alpine HiFi amp and harness with a set of BSW Stage 1 components out of interest in maintaining a cheap and easy install. I picked up a Zapco DC360.4 along the way but don't have a RTA to set it up and noted that it's missing a dedicated remote gain/bass control-- something I think I'll really need with the Earthquake drivers.

I'm not sure the Alpine HiFi amplifier is correcting the base audio's EQ curve, so I'm afraid I'm starting with an overly-bright and boomy input signal. If the Alpine amp is helping with this, I still feel some significant tweaking is necessary to achieve a more balanced system. The BSW components and Logic7 drivers on their own are just fine for my needs--I'm just lacking the ability to tune it.

I recently read up on the JBL MS-A1004 amplifier, a compact, DSP-enabled 4-channel class-D amplifier. It offers almost everything a base audio customer would want, including signal-sensing turn-on (for those who can't find a RAP lead in the trunk), adjustable high-pass, low-pass and band-pass filters with 6, 12, or 24 dB slopes, automatic channel bridging and an optional wireless remote bass control. It includes an automatic level-adjustment CD but doesn't provide time alignment or EQ correction.

Honestly, I'm probably best with choosing the Zapco over the JBL MS-A amplifier, even if the Zapco is slightly more difficult to install. For those experienced using the DPN software, I'd like some feedback on the amount of tuning required for a base audio car, especially one using the Earthquake subs in place of OEM midbass drivers. How much tweaking is necessary to get the Earthquakes to sound right and fill the upper midbass gap?

What happens when you want to crank up the bass on a hip-hop song and then turn it down for a jazz song? I can't expect to carry around a laptop with me to tweak the DSP settings anytime I want to make a level change. Is a remote level control even necessary with the Earthquakes?

Lastly, would anyone be able to point me to a retained accessory power lead somewhere in the back of the car? I don't care to pull the head unit if it's not necessary as I'm going to tap the high-level inputs from the branch audio connector under the seats. There's no need to tear into the car any farther forward. I was just hoping I could find a more obvious source for a remote turn-on lead, possibly from the TCU.
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      02-15-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
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If you have an iPhone, try the RTA Lite app. Does the Zapco have a built in eq? If not, you tuning options are very limited. The SWS stink at midbass and you need a good eq to make them sound decent. Honestly, the L7 drivers with some power behind them sound pretty good, especially the midbass.
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      02-18-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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I tried a few of the AudioTools apps on my iPod Touch, using the pink noise generator for sampling. Unfortunately I don't think the built-in mic is sufficient for this type of tuning. It was interesting to note where the bass and treble controls influence their greatest amount of gain and that the Logic7 subs respond all the way down to 30Hz.

I haven't made up my mind yet as I haven't talked to anyone who's tuned the Zapco with SWS-8 drivers on a base audio system. VP Electricity should know a bit about it but I'm not sure he's spent enough time to create some canned files. B737 was going to use SWS-8s but his installer steered him toward the Jehnert drivers.
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      02-18-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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We have some canned files. They come with our kits.

Quite frankly, I consider what you're looking for to be IP - the results of costly R+D and the use of expensive test gear and years of experience. The process created lots of character for me. Not sure why I should rip you off from having the same rewarding experience I did

It would be analogous to asking some ECU tuner for their settings map so you can program your car to work the way it would if you had them program it. You can ask... but he may not give it to you. That make any sense?

No offense meant - as you know, you and I corresponded and conversed about this general upgrade topic quite a bit already. If you decide to do the work to analyze what to do with your Zapcos, I am happy to give you my advice on the gear to use (which is now much less costly than what I bought a few years back).

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      02-18-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
We have some canned files. They come with our kits.

Quite frankly, I consider what you're looking for to be IP - the results of costly R+D and the use of expensive test gear and years of experience. The process created lots of character for me. Not sure why I should rip you off from having the same rewarding experience I did
We're on the same page here. I completely understand a proper solution requires a significant amount of time and tuning with tools that aren't cheap or easy to come by in the first place.

Quote:
No offense meant - as you know, you and I corresponded and conversed about this general upgrade topic quite a bit already. If you decide to do the work to analyze what to do with your Zapcos, I am happy to give you my advice on the gear to use (which is now much less costly than what I bought a few years back).
None taken, it's just that at the time we talked, I believe you were still awaiting product shipment and a donor car to create the tune. I'm not exactly looking for someone to publish the solution on this forum but would appreciate the guidance from those more experienced to state:

1.) whether the SWS-8 is a proper choice to substitute for the midbass driver

2.) if someone with the Zapco DPN software has corrected the stereo's predefined EQ curve

3.) if additional EQ settings are necessary to get the SWS-8s to properly fill midbass and sub-bass needs

and

4.) if the absence of a remote level control is a hindrance to some who might want to adjust output levels to the SWS-8s on-the-fly, especially when switching input sources or music genres
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